Despite some similarities, public organizations are entirely different from public entities. Besides having different stakeholders, governmental agencies aren’t driven by profits. Due to the fact there is a lower performance pressure, many employees have a lackadaisical approach to their day-to-day routine.
While this makes public jobs ideal for many people, it causes all sorts of headaches for the higher-ups. Maintaining proper office discipline and motivating employees can be a nuisance, especially for younger managers who want to get things in order.
Luckily, there are numerous things you can do to improve your agency’s performance. Besides creating a better work environment and motivating your employees, you can also introduce an accountability system. In this article, we’ll review the best practices that will get your organization to the next level.
1. Improve work environment
Public agencies usually come last in terms of governmental spending. Many offices are dilapidated, making it hard for the staff to maintain high-performance standards. As if that wasn’t enough, shabby buildings and lousy interiors also affect the general public, making every interaction with an agency a choir.
Even if the government doesn’t want to give you resources for refurbishing, you can still do many things to improve the work environment for the staff and visitors. The simplest solution is to keep the place clean and repair minor breakdowns as soon as they appear. You can also do wonders by introducing a few plants.
You should also consider negotiating with some of the local companies. Collect quotes from several brands to find someone to paint the walls and make other design improvements. If you don’t have enough money to pay for their service, you should find another way to compensate them.
2. Motivate your employees
Perhaps the most challenging thing about running a public agency is motivating your employees. Many consider these jobs lifetime employment and aren’t necessarily interested in progressing their careers. Furthermore, as public agencies can’t afford bonuses, you can’t incentivize your staff with money.
The good news is there are a few other tricks you might consider using. Perhaps the easiest solution is giving out trophies and prizes every year. You should think about different administrative, police, and firefighter award ideas that will honor the best performers in your team. Even if your employees can’t take home some extra cash, the award will show that others appreciate their work.
Team building events are also an excellent way to create employee cohesion. You can organize various activities on a minimal budget, which makes them a fantastic investment even for public offices. Additionally, you might contact other local public organizations and try to get discounts and special offers through them.
3. Introduce accountability
Public offices are relatively static when it comes to employee turnover. Even if you mess something up, there’s a low chance that the management will replace you in the near future. However, this shouldn’t be the case.
As a person in charge, you must introduce accountability and periodically assess performance. You might consider making performance reviews public so everyone knows if some team members are slacking. That way, employees who are performing poorly month after month will feel ashamed and will pick up the slacks.
4. Make things transparent
Another good way to improve your team and weed out the negative factors is by making everything transparent. Google reviews and other scoring systems will help you detect deficiencies in your daily operations and point out slackers. Among others, these online scores can help you establish how you perform compared to other organizations in your state.
Public transparency also helps the management. By sharing your goals online with other stakeholders, you’re putting pressure on yourself to perform. Like employees, the public should hold higher-ups accountable for their mistakes and motivate them to do better at their jobs.
5. Get new software
Of course, we can’t blame employees for all the inefficiencies. A common problem among governmental agencies is using outdated software that makes things unnecessarily complicated for the staff. Besides streamlining certain operations, modern SaaS solutions reduce errors by relying on real-time data sources.
With these programs, you can easily create large databases to store all sorts of public documents. Besides tracking citizens’ information, this type of software simplifies internal and external collaboration, data transfer, as well as project planning and execution.
6. Train your staff
Similar to private entities, public companies should organize their procedures to increase efficiency. We’ve already mentioned the need for new software, but you can also move the needle by introducing better equipment and other gadgets. You should also stay on top of the latest administrative procedures and techniques to enhance performance.
For all of this to make sense, your staff needs to come along. You need to provide suitable training that will introduce employees to these new technologies, equipment, and the latest procedures. Even if the process takes some time, it’s vital that they get the hang of things sooner than later.
If you wish to boost the performance of your public agency, you need to be proactive in introducing modern software and procedures. Despite limited resources, there are various things you can do on a budget as long as you’re creative and willing to think outside of the box.